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Department of Fan-Hitting: Retailers Want Higher Sales Tax

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California, governmentally-speaking, is living under a full moon.

How strange have things gotten? The California Retailers Association has endorsed higher sales taxes in order to save the budget.

No need to rub your eyes.

The endorsement of Brown's temporary tax extensions -- including maintenance of the 2009 one-cent hike on sales tax for an additional 5 years -- by retailers is akin to Lakers fans deciding en masse to wear Celtic green.

It would seem to make no sense.

But at a Monday news conference with Gov. Jerry Brown, the retailers association president, Bill Dombrowski, said the state's predicament is extraordinary. And he made an economic argument that fits the state's jobs data -- but doesn't get much attention: state budget cuts have hurt the economy.

Government layoffs have kept unemployment in California stubbornly high. (Non-government sectors, other than construction, have all been adding jobs).

And Dombrowski noted that retail business is in the dumps, particularly in the Sacramento area, where government cutbacks have left customers less money to spend at retailers.

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